Rock Dog

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday February 24, 2017

'Rock Dog'
'Rock Dog'  

Tibetan Mastiff Bodi (Luke Wilson) is a shaggy-dog dreamer with a penchant for rock'n'roll, working for his father (J.K. Simmons) in a small sheep village that lives in constant fear of enduring a wolf attack. When Bodi leaves his small town for the big city, he learns about the art form from a British feline rock legend named Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). However, in Bodi's absence, a wolf gang led by Linnux (Lewis Black) decides the time is ripe for attacking the less-protected sheep village and filling their bellies with lamb meat.

Thus, "Rock Dog" is the inspiring tale of how a talking canine learns to follow his dreams and saves a small village from genocide through some sweet, sweet guitar licks. Oh, and Sam Elliot voices a character who narrates the film directly to the camera, "Big Lebowski"-style, and is named Fleetwood Yak. I'll let that dad joke sink in.

Speaking of, if you're not a dad, or a mom, or an adult responsible for entertaining young children, you might as well stop reading this review right now. This movie is not for you. If there's a couple in their 30s hiring a babysitter to go on their first date night in months, you can rest assured the movie that follows their dinner is not "Rock Dog." No, that's the movie that their kid will be begging them to go to the following Saturday.

There isn't really much to say about the film other than your kids will love it and you will tolerate it. And as an endurable 90-minutes of fluff, "Rock Dog" could've been far worse. It at least tries to deliver an entertaining storyline, its music choices are often inspired ("Dreams" by Beck should be in every movie ever made) and it offers up a handful of choice lessons for the young ones to take with them.

From a critical standpoint, the animation by Reel FX ("Free Birds," "The Book of Life") is subpar compared to visual giants like Disney and Pixar, and the original music sticks in the mind like annoying caramel caught in the back of your teeth. It's a predictable, manufactured plot, but it caters well to its intended demographic -- the cinematic equivalent of a pop song. When it comes to taking your kids out to the movie, you could stand to suffer more.

Plus, there's always Fleetwood Yak. Your kids may not get it, but it might be the only worthwhile gag for adults in the whole film.